Published: 07th Jul 2024 Images: Scottish Cycling

Sweet retribution for Sharp as Bruce does the double

Saturday 6th July saw the Scottish Cycling National Veteran Road Race Championships take place, with national titles up for grabs in the V40 & V50 age groups, in both the female and open categories.

Velocita Coaching Race Team proved fantastic hosts, with a top drawer buffet receiving high praise post-race; first though the riders would have to earn their supper, racing on the Midmar circuit. Setting off from the small village of Echt in the North East, the course a rectangular circuit with a fast descent on the far side and a climb up to the finish line – the females would race one and a half laps, the open race doing two and half.

Of the four winners it was Callum Sharp (Veloclub Edinburgh) who showed the most emotion as he crossed the line, as after missing out on the championship win last year in the closing stages, he made no doubt about it this time around.

A field full of former winners was assembled, with David Lines (Wheelbase Cabtech Castelli) and Zosia Martin (Torvelo Racing) amongst the standout names, but in the V40 open Sharp set his stall out early doors, getting in a move on the opening lap that would go all the way to the finish.

Ray Wilson (GTR-Return to Life) led the break through the little twisty section before the main climb, with Sharp, Mark Walker (Deeside Thistle CC), Robin Atkinson (Shetland Wheelers), David Devine (Ecosse Northboats) and Daniel Long (Elgin CC) for company. Notably, David Lines had missed the break and this would prove costly, as second time around the gap had gone out to 2 minutes and 40 seconds and they would stay well away to the finish.

The Lines group was led up the climb the first time around by V50 defending champion Andy Bruce (Vanelli-Project Go) with Hamish MacLean (Musselburgh RCC) and Ross Crook (RT23) ever watchful, both having contested this championship a number of times in the past, and knowing Bruce was the man to beat if they wanted to take home the title.

In the Female race RT23 had Charlene Hamilton in the V40s with Jude Paterson representing the club in the V50 category. Up against them were Zosia Martin, a previous winner in 2017 and Debbie Barnett, riding for Aberdeen Wheelers. Hamilton was clear coming up the hill the first time, but was being chased by Barnett with Martin a little way behind at this point.

A lap later they climbed to take the chequered flag, Charlene Hamilton coming into view first and taking a convincing win. Having been behind first time around, Zosia Martin had caught back up to Debbie Barnett and dropped her on the climb to take another silver medal, Barnett taking bronze.

In the V50 Female race Jude Paterson would claim the championship title, happy not to be caught by the men, although, as it turned out, she was well ahead of any such thing happening.

With a lap to go in the Open race, Callum Sharp was driving hard as the men came through again. The group of five was intact and hammering the time gap to ensure the others would never come back.

Fast forward a lap to the finish and it was Sharp, who had been outsprinted last year, who made sure that wouldn’t happen again, dropping his breakaway companions on the climb and finishing well ahead of Mark Walker, punching the air with satisfaction as he crossed the line. Walker looked spent as he crossed the line, with Daniel Long coming from behind to overhaul David Devine in the sprint for bronze.

We would then wait for the winner of the men’s V50 and it came down to a sprint between Andy Bruce and Hamish MacLean, the Vanelli-Project Go rider pulling away in the closing couple of hundred metres to take it, Ross Crook rounding out the podium.

A great day of racing, with championships coming thick and fast now at this point of the season, the Junior Open Road Race taking place on the Black Loch course next weekend.